Henry John Maki Obituary

Date of Birth:

Wednesday, May 21st, 1924

Date of Death:

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

Funeral Home:

Matthews Funeral Home Ltd, Melville
750 6th Avenue West
Melville, Saskatchewan, CANADA
S0A2P0

Obituary:

Harry Maki passed away January 2, 2010 at the age o f 85 years. Below is the eulogy that was delivered at his funeral.Harry grew up doing the typical things a Saskatchewan farm boy did; he milked cows, chopped wood and did many other farm chores. He was a great help to his mother and sometimes had to be in charge of his younger siblings. He took his schooling at New Finland School. In 1943 he was called up to serve in the armed forces. He trained at Fort Gerry near Winnipeg and was stationed at Shilo, MB. Harry proudly displayed many photos of his army life in his home in Calgary. He was discharged from the Canadian army after two and a half years of service. He came home to the New Finland district, in 1945, to farm with his brother Arnold. Harry being the eldest son, had most of the responsibility concerning the farming operation. He was an excellent farmer; he worked the land diligently and had good crops before the use of commercial fertilizer. Harry was always very particular about the upkeep and maintenance of his machinery and vehicles. He would never start a piece of equipment without first checking the oil and coolants. This trait also extended to his personal appearance. Harry was a very sharp dresser, groomed to look his best. Melody and I remember seeing Uncle Harry in town, always spiffed up with his pants sharply creased and his curly hair perfectly in place. He was also very particular about his cars; when he drove his sisters to dances or to church he'd notice if they left even a single strand of hair on his back seat. My most vivid memory of Uncle Harry is actually more about his 1959 Chevy. The car was parked on the east side of Grandma's house. Melody and I were 3 or 4 yrs old and had been told not to even go near Harry's car; but we didn't listen. We snuck into the car, dislodged the gearshift and started to roll backwards down the hill, headed straight for the milking bam. Uncle Brian was welding by the summer kitchen and he came sprinting to the car, jumped in and slammed on the brakes. Grandma lectured us that if there was even one scratch on that car that Uncle Harry would flip out. Apparently Todd had a similar experience when Marion borrowed Harry's car and while she was opening a gate Todd put the car in gear and it slowly drove into the ditch, much to Marion's horror. She checked the car first then Todd.Melody and I also remember churning butter for Grandma Maki and she always saved the buttermilk in a quart sealer for Uncle Harry. He would drink it while we gagged, thinking it was disgusting stuff. One of his favourite snacks was canned tomatoes; he especially loved his mothers home canned ones. Harry had a wonderful sense of humour and loved a good laugh. We liked to talk end visit with family and friends. If he was enjoying a particularly good joke, he would slap his knee while he laughed. Garth's kids would comment when they heard Uncle Harry laughing, that he must have told a ‘knee slapper’. Audrey says that he used to phone every April Fool's Day to try to play some trick on his sisters. Harry loved music and singing; he taught himself to play the guitar. He would often play at home when company visited. He enjoyed Gene Autry songs and he loved singing Finnish songs that he learned from others in the community. He sang in this very church in the choir with his sisters. According to Arnold, Harry even courted his girlfriends with his music. Harry was proud of his Finnish heritage, learning the Finn language before English. Lana remembers Uncle Harry trying to teach her and Shelley Finnish words. He did his knee slapping laugh when they butchered the pronunciation. He and Arnold built a traditional sauna at the farm and he enjoyed using it while he lived there. He also enjoyed dancing and used his car to drive his sisters and friends to the local dances. In 1967 he met and married Audrienne Schentag of Esterhazy. He and Audrienne lived in Esterhazy, but Harry continued to farm for several more years. In 1968, they welcomed their son Warren to the family. We remember Warren as the cutest little boy- we thought he looked like an angel with all that curly blonde hair. Harry sold his land and moved his family to Calgary in the early 70's and bought a home there. His sisters Lorna, Helen and Audrey, also lived in Calgary, so he wasn't far from family. His first employment in Calgary was as a parking attendant. He later worked in the maintenance department at a shopping mall. He continued in this employment until his retirement at age 65. After retirement Harry kept busy by meeting friends regularly for coffee, and visiting his sisters in the city. Sunday evening suppers at the girls' house were a tradition. His sister Audrey tells us that Harry liked to eat out, especially to celebrate birthdays. He watched the news several times a day and read Time magazine faithfully. He made it clear that no one was to call him when his favourite TV show, “The Price is Right” was on. He created a wood working shop in the basement of his home. He liked to carve animal sculptures from wood; his largest carving was of a deer. He enjoyed making model airplanes. His brothers remember Harry as a perfectionist in everything he did - speed wasn't important but rather quality. He made summer trips to visit his family in the New Finland district for many years. He also visited his brother Rick and sister Selma in the Vancouver area and his son Warren. Harry enjoyed quite good health and remained active until the spring of 2009. My dad, Les, Uncle Arnold and my brother Rod, made a trip to visit Uncle Harry this past July. They spent many hours reminiscing about their childhood and the now huge extended Maki family. Unfortunately, this past spring he began to experience a health decline and was hospitalized from that time on, in Foot Hills Hospital in Calgary. He passed away January 2, 2010. We also know Harry as a very private person who enjoyed his solitude, but he was proud of his family, especially his son Warren and his grandchildren, Maclaine and Taylor. Harry was born five miles from here and was baptized in this very church. It was hi wish to return to rest here with his mother, three sisters and brother. He will be missed.

Henry Maki
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